Automation in warehouses is becoming more and more common and is seen as the best business performance optimization solution. Management software is one of the most used tools for this automation in a warehouse. We tell you everything there is to know about warehouse management software.
What is warehouse management software?
Warehouse management software or Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a solution allowing to have all the information of the company’s stock in order to manage the various operations in the supply chain. Thus, the WMS was designed with the aim of having control over the rest of the supply chain, but also to coordinate and optimize all the steps and logistics operations throughout the warehouse.
Warehouse management systems allow for greater speed and precision in the various operations. Knowing that all types of warehouses can benefit from the latter, from non-automated warehouses to fully automated warehouses. The Warehouse Management Systems can also be installed in the company’s cloud, thus allowing access to all the tools only from a smartphone or a browser with an internet connection. As a result, companies requiring the need to improve the efficiency of logistics procedures have recourse to warehouse management software.
What are the different features of warehouse management software?
As we have seen, warehouse management software manages all supply chain operations. In other words, the WMS has functionalities in each of the areas of the logistics warehouse.
The organization of incoming flows from the warehouse
First, a WMS system maintains a important role in the reception processes upon arrival of the goods in the warehouse. In fact, the warehouse management software allows the company to efficiently process the products received by the latter by entering logistics data such as the product reference, the expiry date, the weight, the temperature or even the serial number. This information can be consulted in real time with constant updates to ensure product traceability. It is important to note that the latter also allows check the quality and quantity of the merchandise. In addition, this tool also takes care of the specific labeling of these products by generating and affixing barcodes on the goods allowing the identification of goods. All the information taken into account by the warehouse management software allows it to draw up reports on certain important criteria in the management of incoming flows to the warehouse.
Company inventory management
The WMS also makes it possible to have real-time information on all of the company’s stocks. This is notably possible thanks to the implementation of identification codes and the tracking of each of the products in circulation throughout the warehouse. Thus, initially, the warehouse management software allows a load location. This particularly concerns the storage of the products, the software takes into account each information concerning the product, namely its rotation, its family, its volume, the compatibility with other products, the type of container… These data specifically allow the latter to define the appropriate location for the products in the storage area.
Secondly, the warehouse management software makes it possible tohave control over the company’s inventory. The latter provides visibility of the entire warehouse through a graphical representation while sharing the details of the composition of the locations. The company opting for the installation of this solution keeps a constant eye on the stock status of the warehouse, which considerably reduces the risk of stock shortages or even overstocking. This information is also used by the software to perform more accurate inventory and counting of a particular item.
Preparation, packaging, processing of orders
Order preparation is a procedure that is divided into several complex steps. To complete this logistical task, these steps must be performed in the correct order to avoid errors in customer orders. The WMS system is able to take care of each of these steps by first allowing all the tasks to be carried out to be planned and assigned to all the operators. Indeed, schedules can be recorded and automated according to the needs of the company. The rest of the operations in order preparation are also managed by the management systems, namely picking. This tool makes it possible to use the cross-docking technique which consists in particular of transporting the goods directly to the reception area without be stored. The picking route can also be optimized to reduce the movement of manufacturers and work more efficiently.
Goods issue management
The management of outgoing flow from the warehouse can also be taken over by WMS systems. Indeed, this part of the supply chain requires good organization in order to avoid customer delivery delays. Thus, the tool takes care of the labeling of shipments in order to identify the packages, the editing of specific documents addressed to carriers, the final control of the quality and quantity of the products to be delivered. The company also keeps visibility on the path of the parcels and determines in this way whether they are delivered on time and to the right destination.
Warehouse management software also makes it possible to optimize the choice of route to be adopted in order to reduce transport costs. Indeed, the latter is able to gather all the information, namely the nature of the product, its volume, its destination or its family allowing him to determine the goods to be loaded in the same trucks. This solution makes it possible to considerably reduce transport costs, because the route set up by the software is more optimized.